Women's Health Texas – San Antonio

Vulvar Disorders

Vulvar disorders cause pain, burning, itching and other symptoms

Our experienced San Antonio OBGYNs provide compassionate treatment for vulvar disorders. Disorders of the vulva occur in the external genital area, including the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vaginal and urethral openings and the perineum. Symptoms vary, but many women notice changes in the area and/or experience pain, burning or itching.

There are several kinds of vulvar disorders that affect the skin

Several skin conditions cause pain and other irritating symptoms.

  • Contact dermatitis causes stinging, burning, itching and raw skin. It is caused by irritants such as perfume, fabric and soap. If women avoid irritants, most will heal without further treatment.
  • Lichen simplex chronicus causes plaques, or scaly patches of skin and extreme itching. Our physicians treat the underlying condition and stop the itching with steroid cream.
  • Lichen sclerosus causes tears in the skin, burning, itching and pain during intercourse. This is another of the vulvar disorders our physicians treat with steroid cream.
  • Lichen planus usually occurs in the mouth, but also occurs in the genitals. Our San Antonio OBGYNs prescribe medicated ointments, cream, prescription medications or injections to treat the burning, itching, pain and abnormal discharge.

Vulvar cancer falls under disorders of the vulva

There are several types of vulvar cancer, but the most common is squamous cell carcinoma. Women can also develop melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Adenocarcinomas are cancerous vulvar disorders that develop in the Bartholin and sweat gland cells. Paget disease occurs when adenocarcinoma cells develop in the top layer of vulvar skin.

Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, or VIN, is a precancerous condition caused by abnormal vulvar cells. Women with VIN may notice burning, itching or vulvar skin changes such as bumpy skin or red, brown or white discoloration. VIN get treatment to prevent cancer development.

If women report symptoms to our San Antonio OBGYNs as soon as they notice them, it allows our doctors to diagnose cancer in its early stages. Scheduling annual wellness exams is another proactive step.

Additional vulvar conditions that may affect women

Vulvodynia is one of the vulvar disorders that can affect women’s quality of life. It causes pain, stinging, burning, irritation or rawness in the vulvar area. There are several ways to treat this problem, including lifestyle changes, medication, physical therapy and counseling.

Women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause may develop genitourinary syndrome of menopause due to a decrease in estrogen. This syndrome can cause pain during sexual intercourse, dryness, soreness and irritation. Estrogen cream applied directly to the skin or vaginally helps relieve the symptoms.

Vulvar disorders require diagnosis and treatment. No woman should be embarrassed to share her symptoms with our San Antonio OBGYNs. Our physicians and staff provide caring treatment. Contact us for an appointment to get treatment for disorders of the vulva.